Best shampoo for dry and damaged hair tried and tested

Replenishing shampoos formulated to restore healthy hair.

Best shampoo for dry and damaged hair tried and tested

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

Transform dull tresses into healthy, hydrated and radiant locks with the best shampoo for dry and damaged hair. Heat styling tools can take a toll. But that's just one of several factors that can lead to brittle and damaged hair. Making a switch to organic shampoo is one way of avoiding the sulfates that strip hair of its natural oils. Yours has rounded up the best shampoo for dry and damaged hair and we've tested them ourselves. We found the perfect hair on the team to demonstrate the performance of these enriching shampoos.

To restore vitality and shine to dry hair you need a shampoo removes the build-up of excess natural oils (sebum) without stripping the hair of its goodness. While there is an enormous range of haircare products to choose from, it's worth taking the time find a shampoo that's specifically aimed at your hair type and condition. Additionally, if your hair is bleached, coloured or undergone a treatment, then it's going to need specific shampoo that will add moisture to hair and not be too harsh.

Best shampoo for dry and damaged hair at a glance:

Best overall shampoo for dry and damaged hair: Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Shampoo – Buy now on Sally Beauty
Best shampoo for split ends: BondiBoost Rapid Repair Shampoo – Buy now on Look Fantastic
Best shampoo for rebalancing processed and fine hair: Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo – Buy now on Philip Kingsley

As we get older, hair becomes fine and dry. Also, it loses its pigment, which is where shampoos for grey hair can add shine. It's well worth getting advice from your hairdresser as they understand the needs of all hair types. Specifically, if you're feeling frustrated with dry and damaged hair, you've come to the right place. All of the products in this article have been tried and tested by Yours. We only ever recommend products that we believe in.

We also got some advice from celebrity hairstylist Gustav Fouche and creator of GF Fabulosity hair products. Gustav Fouche is driven by his passion for educating people about what makes a great shampoo. One ingredient he particularly warns against is silicone. In hair care products, silicone is the culprit for dry and damaged hair; causing build-up, weighing hair down, leading to breakage, and blocking moisture. This build-up disrupts the hair's natural moisture absorption, halting the osmosis process entirely, ultimately resulting in dry, fragile hair prone to breakage.

Best shampoo for dry and damaged hair

Best overall shampoo for dry and damaged hair

Tested

Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate ShampooYours/SallyBeauty/Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Shampoo Contains olive and oat peptides to soothe an itchy scalp and moisturise dry hair. It contains gentle, natural ingredients in a hydrating formulation to restore vitality. With essential oils and plant extracts, this shampoo nourishes thirsty hair with smooth and visibly healthy results. The wholesome ingredients deliver professional salon-quality results whilst being eco-friendly and sustainable. Pair with Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Repair Conditioner for hair that's healthy and more manageable.

Our review: "From start-to-finish it's a premium shampoo experience, without compromising on environmental priorities. The fragrance is fresh and wholesome without being overpowering. I love the feel and shape of the bottle which is bio-based plastic.

"The pale honey-coloured shampoo creates a luxurious lather, so really only very little is required. It contains high-quality ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. Upon rinsing, hair feels thoroughly cleansed, tangle-free and with a soft and pliant texture that is wholly unique to this product."

Pros

  • 77% natural origin
  • Bio-based plastic packaging
  • Vegan
  • Cultivates soft, healthy and manageable hair

Cons

  • None

Best shampoo for split ends

Tested

BondiBoost Rapid Repair ShampooYours/BondiBoost

BondiBoost Rapid Repair Shampoo helps reduce breakage, split ends and seals hair cuticles for smoother hair. Its salon professional formulation contains an infusion of macadamia nut oil and panthenol which repairs brittle hair and increases elasticity. The rich botanical ingredients hydrate hair from root to tip. Follow up with a nourishing BondiBoost Super Shine+ Strength Oil, which is lightweight, fast-absorbing and replenishes moisture starved hair.

Our review: "BondiBoost Rapid Repair Shampoo is a clear liquid gel that's dispensed from a plastic bottle with a pump. A little goes a long way, and the shampoo forms a rich, delicately scented lather which is a luxurious experience. Upon rinsing, my hair felt soft, tangle-free and cleansed. I followed up with BondiBoost Miracle Hair Mask, which is full of nutritious oils, including argan, abyssian, macadamia, castor and jojoba. I applied a little of the thick and creamy mask to the ends of my hair and left for 10 minutes before rinsing. Finally, I applied Bondi Boost Heavenly Hydration Serum, which is a leave-in treatment that controls frizz and adds shine. Again, you really only need a tiny amount for visible results. When dry, my hair with thicker, soft and healthy-looking with defined curls with just one wash and treatment. The products absorb wonderfully – very impressed."

Pros

  • Includes certified organic ingredients
  • Nourishes and repairs split ends
  • Hydrating
  • Vegan friendly

Cons

  • None

Best shampoo for rebalancing processed and fine hair

Tested

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing ShampooYours/Philip Kingsley

Combat dry and damaged hair with Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo. It's unique formulation hydrates the mid-length and ends of hair which is generally the most prone to breakage. It contains Guar, which provides smoothness and lessens static. Wheat protein strengthens and hydrates, while antioxidants protect against environmental damage. For very porous hair, try Philip Kingsley Moisture Extreme. It's an enriching shampoo that nourishes naturally coiled hair. A unique combination of oils deeply penetrate stands, whilst gently cleansing fragile hair. It's an intensely rich formulation that restores moisture and smooths cuticles to tame tough frizz.

Our review: "I have a halo of dry, sun-damaged hair that frizzes despite my best efforts with hair stylers and serums. So, this shampoo, which claims to treat the mid-length and ends of hair, should help hydrate that difficult top layer of dry hair.

"It's a pale honey-coloured liquid shampoo that's delicately fragranced. A small amount created a moderate lather, that was ample to thoroughly shampoo my hair. It rinsed out easily and left my hair feeling soft, cleansed and tangle-free. I let my hair dry naturally and it formed lovely defined ringlets that were soft and I could tease them out without any tangles.

"I also tried Philip Kingsley Moisture Extreme. While it's not exclusively aimed at my hair type, it did deeply nourish and soften my hair. Plus, my hair was shinier than usual. I'd definitely recommend finishing with the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer hair mask, which is a product myself and my mum have been using for years for extra deep conditioning."

Pros

  • Targeted hydration
  • Gentle and effective cleansing
  • Ideal for medium to long textured hair
  • Frizz control and shine

Cons

  • Don't be tempted to use too much, a little really does go a long way

Best shampoo for dry, textured hair

Tested

Flora & Curl 'Hydrate Me' Rose Water Cream ShampooYours/Flora & Curl

Flora & Curl's Rose Water Cream Shampoo contains rose water to nourish the hair and scalp, oat silk to smooth hair cuticles and camellia green tea oil for excellent hydration. Honey adds softness and antibacterial properties to prevent dandruff. Also, hibiscus extract helps to prevent premature greying. These ultra-hydrating, natural ingredients cater to the needs of textured hair types, enhancing waves, coils and curls. Flora & Curl's Hydrating range also includes Rose Water Cream Conditioner to nourish and restore brittle strands into soft and healthy locks.

Flora & Curl's range of haircare is available from Boots.

Our review: "I have damaged curly hair, so this gentle and revitalising shampoo and matching conditioner are perfect for my hair type. On first impressions, I'm loving the packaging, which a stylish aluminium can with pump dispenser. Additionally, it can be refilled and reused or recycled.

"Flora & Curl's Rose Water Cream Shampoo has a lovely botanical and rose water scent. It doesn't create very much lather. It's enriched with camellia extract and oat silk proteins, to cleanse whilst preserving moisture. The formulation contains hibiscus, honeysuckle, ylang-ylang and other essential oils to revive thirsty and brittle hair. My hair felt squeaky clean upon rinsing.

"I used the matching Flora & Curl Hydrate Me conditioner. It took a little effort to dispense as it's thick. I applied it to the ends of my hair and let it absorb for 10 minutes before rinsing. I let my hair dry naturally and I felt it had more volume and bounce after using these products. My hair was soft, tangle-free with defined curls.

Pros

  • Winner of the Best Natural Hair Care Products Brand at the UK Enterprise Awards
  • Hydrating
  • Plant-based and nourishing all-natural ingredients
  • Sustainable product

Cons

  • Took a little trial and error to get the dispenser pump working

Best shampoo for pampering

Tested

Moo & Yoo ShampooYours/Moo & Yoo
Price: £26.50

Moo & Yoo Miracle Shampoo is gentle yet luxurious shampoo that's made in Edinburgh. Marula oil and Icelandic moss locks-in moisture and helps to repair damage caused by environmental toxins. Hair feels clean, shiny and soft. The formulation is gentle on the scalp and nourishes hair. Follow with Moo & Yoo Miracle Conditioner and Mask. In addition, Moo & Yoo offers a range of high-end hair care, body care and lifestyle gifts.

Our review: "The branding and packaging is gift-worthy. The Moo & Yoo brand has an elegance, plus feels like a luxurious experience from unboxing to shampooing. The shampoo itself comes in a glass bottle. Twist to open the plunge dispenser and press to get a couple of doses of the shampoo. It lathers wonderfully and has a fresh soap and linen scent. Upon rinsing I felt that my hair was thoroughly clean. I'd be very happy to receive this as a pampering gift.

Pros

  • Luxurious
  • Suitable for natural and colour-treated hair
  • Ethical and 5% of profits go to charity

Cons

  • A little pricy for a 250ml bottle

Best shampoo for dry, colour treated hair

Tested

Monoi Rescue ShampooYours/Evolve Organic Beauty

Monoi Rescue Shampoo from Evolve Organic Beauty is a richly foaming shampoo that's Cosmos Organic certified. 98% of the ingredients are from natural sources and over 50.6% are from organic farming. For colour-treated hair, this nourishing shampoo improves dry scalp and absorbs deep into the hair shaft to cleanse, hydrate and smooth. The formulation includes quinoa (to lock-in colour) and nourishing Monoi oil and organic Karkade (Hibiscus). It's handmade in the UK in small batches.

Our review: "Monoi Rescue Shampoo has a distinct sweet floral scent of Monoi oil derived from Gardenia petals, Hibiscus and coconut oil. It's a delicately pale honey-coloured shampoo. A little goes a long way and it creates a lot of soft dense lather. Upon rinsing, my hair felt softer – which goes some way to combatting the hardwater area that I live in. It left my hair softener, reduced the frizz and relaxed the curls. My hair felt thoroughly clean too. Additionally, the label can be easily peeled from the bottle so it can be reused or recycled. In short, it's improved my dry frizzy hair, plus it feels like a premium shampoo experience with the most incredible floral aroma."

Pros

  • Organic
  • Specially formulated for dry and colour-treated hair
  • Restores moisture and shine
  • Reduces frizz

Cons

  • Be aware it's a very strong floral fragrance which may not suit everyone

Best softening shampoo for dry curly hair

Tested

Clean Curls Super Softening ShampooYours/Clean Curls
Price: £7.19 (was £8.99)

www.superdrug.com

Clean Curls Super Softening Shampoo is part of new family brand aimed at all curly hair types. It's infused with coconut and creates a luxurious lather that cleanses the scalp whilst softening hair. For non-toxic curl care the Clean Curls range is attracting lots of positive comments. Check out Clean Curls on Instagram to find out more.

Our review: "My hair is naturally curly and currently dry and brittle in parts so this shampoo is very much aimed at my hair type. It's a clear liquid shampoo. You don't need to use a lot and the lid delivers a small amount. Once lathered it smells wonderfully of coconut. Upon rinsing, my hair felt cleansed.

"I recommend using the Clean Curls Super Slip Detangling Conditioner after the shampoo. My hair drank up the nourishing formulation of argan, coconut and grapeseed oil. It thoroughly softened and detangled my hair. When I dried my hair it was silky smooth and soft. I'll be looking for the Clean Curls range in Superdrug, it really works on dry curly hair."

Pros

  • Contains 98.7% natural ingredients
  • Softens dry curly hair
  • Popular range of affordable non-toxic products for curly hair

Cons

  • Note that it's designed for curly hair

Best value shampoo for dry coils and curls

Tested

Cantu Shea Butter Cleansing ShampooYours/Cantu

Deeply cleanse and nourish to reduce breakage with Cantu Shea Butter Cleansing Shampoo. It's a sulfate-free cleansing shampoo for curly hair that's available on the high street and online. The 400ml bottle offers good value for money as a little goes a long way. It's formula features shea butter to promote healthy hair growth and tame kinks and unruly curls.

Our review: "It's good value for money and comes in a large 400ml bottle. This pearlescent liquid shampoo smells of oranges and it formed a rich creamy lather. My scalp and hair felt cleansed after rinsing. It's a lovely product to use for a refreshing morning shower experience.

"Then, I used the Cantu Strengthening Biotin-Infused Hair & Scalp Oil. Applying a few drops with the pipette provided. It absorbed into my hair and smelt of tree tree oil. It definitely tamed my tangles and smoothed my hair.

"I let my hair dry naturally and it dried into soft-tangle-free waves that felt nourished. My hair smelt lovely and fragranced too."

Pros

  • Gentle formulation that removes heavy build-up
  • Hydrating and nourishing shea butter
  • Deep cleansing
  • Value for money large bottle

Cons

  • Note that it's specifically formulated for curly hair and coils

Best shampoo for over-treated hair

Tested

OSMO Deep Moisture ShampooYours/OSMO

OSMO® Deep Moisture Shampoo is an award-winning product that repairs damaged hair without weighing it down. It contains extract of Pataua oil (from the Amazonian Brazilian palm tree) and Keratin Complex to nourish, protect and replenish lost moisture in dry and damaged hair. Get smooth and manageable hair with regular use. OSMO Deep Moisture Conditioner and OSMO Intensive Deep Repair Mask are also part of OSMO's Deep Moisture Collection for dry and damaged hair.

Our review: "It's true, I've used one too many heated stylers over the years. Parts of my hair grow to a certain length and then break into wispy flyaways. This OSMO Deep Moisture Shampoo claims to "provide salvation for heat traumatised [hair]".

"It's a pleasantly fruit-scented, pearlescent thick shampoo in a substantial 400ml bottle. It lathered into a rich, bubbly foam that thoroughly cleansed and softened my hair. It's good value for money and my hair felt like it had been washed with a salon shampoo, with no added weight as the product claimed. I followed with my usual conditioner.

"I let my hair dry naturally and it had a lovely healthy sheen and felt thoroughly cleansed. In short, yes I would recommend this shampoo for restoring moisture to dry hair. It's a large bottle so it will last a while too."

Pros

  • Intensely hydrating
  • Restore condition to over-stressed, chemically treated hair
  • Large bottle

Cons

  • Needs regular use to see long term improvement to hair

Best SOS emergency repairing shampoo

Tested

Fudge Damage RewindYours/Fudge Professional

In need of an SOS treatment after too much bleaching and heat styling? Fudge Damage Rewind with repairing Opti-PLEX technology that reconstructs hair bonds. Counteract over-styling, chemical, pollution and sun damage. 80% of people who have tried this product feel their hair looks and feels healthier. It's a lightweight shampoo that cleanses hair of build-up whilst repairing and smoothing hair cuticles. Revitalise parched and broken hair with a professional quality product.

Follow with Damage Rewind Reconstructing Conditioner for daily defence against environment damage, as part of the Fudge Professional hair care range.

Our review: "This Fudge Professional shampoo claims to make hair "90% stronger instantly" (tested by breakage). I can say that I felt my hair felt full and fortified after using this shampoo. We're not talking miracles, but my hair condition was definitely improved.

"It's a pearlescent liquid shampoo with a subtle scent. It produces a lovely lather and cleanses very well.

"My hair was left tangle-free, soft and looking thicker without added weight from product. Notably, when I brushed my hair it did not snag, and as the product claims, there was no notable breakage. I'm very keen to continue using this product and see what the results are over time – impressed."

Pros

  • 90% stronger hair instantly
  • Locks in colour for 30 washes
  • Reduces breakage
  • Noticed a difference in one wash

Cons

  • Needs to be used over time to see long term improvements to hair

Best vegan shampoo for dry, damaged hair

Tested

Wunderbar Vegan Nutri Repair and Strengthening ShampooYours/Sally Beauty/Wunderbar

Exclusive to Sally Beauty this SOS shampoo repairs, strengthens and revitalises damaged hair. Wunderbar Vegan Nutri Repair and Strengthening Shampoo has a revitalising Tri-Complex formulation, including Phyto Keratin to restore moisture and repairs damage, caused by over-processing, heat styling and environmental factors. Argan oil is naturally rich in vitamin E and omega 6 nourishes and protects hair. Wunderbar Nutri Repair Conditioner and Nutri Repair Mask are also available to restore strength, softness and shine.

Our review: "Wunderbar contains enriching oils to strengthen and improve the manageability of dry and damaged hair. This vegan-certified shampoo has a lovely strong floral scent. Appling a pea-sized amount, it produced a good lather that felt cleansing and more of a salon-style shampoo than my usual product.

"When dry, my hair was noticeably and pleasantly fragranced – enough for my partner to comment (he generally doesn't notice these things). Also, hair had a healthy shine and I felt it had enhanced the natural tones. Overall, my hair was cleaner, softer and thicker.

"Finally, I love that Wunderbar has excellent sustainability credentials with it's bio-based packaging and vegan accreditation."

Pros

  • Certified ICEA vegan
  • Recycled and bio-based packaging
  • Lovely fragrance
  • Salon-style shampoo

Cons

  • None

How we tested

All of these shampoos for dry and damaged hair have been hand-selected by our team of Yours shopping experts. We carefully considered ingredients, environmental ethos and value in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching shampoos for dry and damaged hair to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Our Verdict: Best shampoo for dry and damaged hair

Best overall is Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Shampoo which ticks all the boxes for it's effectiveness and eco credentials. It gave an unmatched elasticity to our tester's hair, plus bounce, shine and thickness.

Our tester photographed their hair before (left) and after, using some of the shampoos listed. There's absolutely no other styling involved as the aim is to show the effectiveness of the shampoo. Some products, such as BondiBoost Rapid Repair Shampoo gave shine, fullness and hydration (middle). Whilst Evolve Beauty Organic's Monoi Rescue Shampoo really enhanced the natural curl in our tester's hair (right).

Dry and damaged hair before and after using specialist shampoos.
©Yours/Natalie Knowles

Our tester highly recommends Cantu Shea Butter Cleansing Shampoo for its effectiveness and value for money. Also, Fudge Damage Rewind Reconstructing Shampoo made a significant improvement to the tester's hair strength and thickness – it's worth continuing to use this product over a period of time to see long term results.

FAQs

How do I improve dry and damaged hair?

We know that heat styling, age and too many treatments can take a toll on hair. Whether you're suffering from brittle and split ends or a sore and flaky scalp, it's worth investing in a gentle moisturising shampoo. Use in conjunction with a moisturising conditioner to tame any wiriness and replenish hair with essential oils and antioxidants. Also, use a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week for an extra boost to hair health. We recommend Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer hair mask.

Take care not to be too vigorous when rubbing your hair dry with a towel. Wet hair is more prone to breaking. It's better to gently wrap your hair in a towel to absorb moisture.

Minimise use of heated hair styling products. Or if you are going to use a blow dryer, curling irons or hair straighteners, apply a heat protection spray to your hair first.

Do not over wash hair. Aim to wash it every other day or just a couple of times a week to allow natural oils to build up in hair, keeping it hydrated and healthy. Find a routine that works best for you.

Schedule a visit to the hairdresser every six weeks to keep split ends under control. A trim helps to stop splitting from going further up the hair shaft.

Some shampoos offer some UV protection, but it's no substitute for wearing a hat. If you're spending lots of time outdoors, do remember that hair suffers sun damage, so take steps to protect your head in the same way you'd apply an anti-ageing sunscreen to your skin.

Aim to have a healthy diet and drink lots of water. Make sure you're having quality sources of protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E.

What is a keratin hair treatment?

Consider a professional keratin treatment, which relaxes hair, reduces frizz and repairs hair damage. There are at home products available, or book in with your hairdresser for a longer lasting result.

Keratin is sealed into any gaps in the hair shaft, restoring strength and smoothing the cuticle. Be aware, it's not a permanent solution to achieving smooth and glossy hair, but the results mean you can minimise using hair styling products. Also note, it's important to use shampoos that are sulfate and sodium-free after a keratin treatment so hair is not stripped of the keratin protein.

Find out more about professional keratin smoothing treatments from your local Tony & Guy.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances. When she's not testing sparkling water makers, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

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